I’ve been on a sudden reading kick lately. If you know me, you know that I really don’t like to read. I’ve never been the type of personwho would read by choice, and certainly not because I enjoyed it. I’ve tried in the past to come up with things that I was interested in reading, but I just didn’t have enough passion about anything to force myself to read about it. But now something has changed. Not only with my desire to read, but I’ve also gained a passion unlike any that I’ve ever known before; a passion for God.
Over the last week, I’ve read Crazy Love by Francis Chan, and Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman. Yesterday I began Forgotten God by Francis Chan, and there is a good possibility that I will finish it before I go to bed tonight.
I’ve always known, even as a child, that to follow God, we have to sacrifice things. Of course, as a child, I had myself convinced that if I pretended things weren’t important to me, I could still do them rather than sacrificing them for God. Obviously, not the case.
In reading these three books that I listed above, sacrifice was a common focus for me from all of them. Some books were more specific about it, where in another, the sacrifice may have just been an underlying issue that came to mind in reading. However, in reading these books in the order that I’ve listed them, I had found myself wondering what I had really sacrificed to follow God.
When I got to chapter two of Forgotten God, there was a paragraph that not only answered that question, but also made so many things fall into place for me.
“We are called to pattern our lives after the Way described in the Bible. We are not called to fear what following the Way of Jesus may require of us. But that does not mean those fears won’t crop up. A life of following Christ requires relinquishing those fears when they do come. It means refusing to let your fears of what others think, your fears of rejection, keep you from pursuing the truth about the Holy Spirit and whatever else God is teaching you and calling you to.” – Francis Chan
I won’t go into great detail as to what exactly this tied together for me, but I will say that it showed me something that I have to sacrifice in order to truly follow God. This tied together a number of issues that had been concerning me for the last month or so, issues that kept popping up. Each time something would happen, I would attribute it to the devil trying to trip me up. I wasn’t wrong, but now I see that it was so much more than that.
So what am I losing? What am I sacrificing? Certain relationships with people who I would have thought to be my biggest supporters in my pursuit for God, rather than a stumbling block.
The question becomes, what are you sacrificing? What are you willing to sacrifice to live out the truth that God is most important in your life?
It’s a difficult question. It can be painful to answer, but in the end, it will all be worth it.